Texas A&M’s “Big Event” Saturday Marks 30th Year of Landmark Community Service
COLLEGE STATION, Texas, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Call it a labor of love or an act of gratitude, but the work that the estimated 17,500 Texas A&M University students will perform Saturday (March 24) in their annual Big Event community service project — the largest of its type in the nation – will have a monetary value of more than a half-million dollars. That’s just using a minimum-wage yardstick.
Rather than looking at it from a money perspective, the Aggies call it a manifestation of one of the university’s core values: selfless service.
Bright and early Saturday, those legions of Texas A&M students — including football players and other varsity athletes, members of the Corps of Cadets, representatives of many of the university’s 800 clubs, fraternities and sororities, as well as scores of individuals — will pick up paint and brushes, rakes, shovels and other tools and fan out across the Bryan-College Station community to tackle more than 1,900 fix-up, pick-up and other projects as a way to say “thank you” to the community that hosts them during their days at Texas A&M.
It will be the biggest Big Event in the program’s 30-year history, notes Ben Bates, a senior accounting major from Arlington in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex who serves as the 2012 Big Event director.
“We can’t wait to see the Aggie Spirit in action again this year,” he adds.
Local residents such as Bill and Pam Maddox would agree with Bates. “We have had the students at our home for many years. They have always exhibited the Aggie Spirit in all ways. They have worked hard and truly been a pleasure to be around. Several homes in our neighborhood also have the students from Big Event and have said the same things,” they add.
“There are often projects that we run into that need a lot of helping hands and they are always just perfect for the Big Event,” says Barbara Moore of the College Station Neighborhood Services Office. “It has become something the community looks forward to every year. The Big Event is a great opportunity for the students to show the community they care and want this to be a great place to live.”
Ronnie L. Jackson, Neighborhood/Youth Services manager with the City of Bryan, says, “For the past eight years, the City of Bryan has worked cooperatively with the Big Event students to assist them in serving the citizens of Bryan through this unique student-run community service project. The students are a pleasure to work with and provide a very valuable service to the City of Bryan,” he says.
In addition to being a big hit with appreciative residents and city and civic officials in Bryan, College Station, Texas A&M’s Big Event has served as a model and inspiration for an estimated 75 similar events conducted by other universities throughout the nation.
Big Event comes to fruition each year only after a committee of 200 students have spent a year planning the monumental undertaking with a meticulous attention to detail that would have done the generals who planned D-Day proud. Like those generals, they have a mission clearly defined by a simple statement: One big day….one big thanks…. one Big Event.
For more about the student leaders of Big Event and how it got started, go to http://tamutimes.tamu.edu/2012/03/02/aggies-and-big-event-showing-the-world-the-meaning-of-service/.
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SOURCE Texas A&M University